Mastering the Job Search
By Torin Ellis, Contributing writer
April 2, 2018
Like we discussed last month, the first step in finding a new job is the job hunt — but this step can often be the most intimidating. Where do you start? Where should you be looking? I’ve got a simple plan that can help you when you’re at the beginning of the process: The 60/20/20 Plan
It looks like this:
- 20% of your time on job boards
- 20% of your time on social media
- 60% of your time networking/referrals
Let me break that down:
20% — Job Boards
Online Job boards like Indeed, Monster, and ZipRecruiter, are often people’s first stop when it comes to job searches. They pull jobs in from a number of sources and should be a part of your process. However, keep in mind that having a record will make getting many of the jobs listed on these types of boards difficult. That is where niche job boards come in.
Niche means the chosen job board will serve a specific audience and/or industry. For example, Venturefizz (venturefizz.com) serves the very specific niche of tech jobs in Boston, MA. 70MillionJobs is a bit like a niche job board, except instead of jobs being industry specific, the niche is applicants with criminal records. To find other niche job boards, consider using Google or reaching out to your local workforce development centers.
Traditional job boards should receive about 20% of your attention, and not much more. Most people will sit at a keyboard and hit enter ALL day and more often than not receive zero response or some standard form email. This is frustrating and demoralizing to anyone looking for work. However, if you find a great niche job board that works for your situation (especially one like 70MillionJobs) you can spend some extra time there.
20% — Social Media
Social Media (like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter) can be a way to grow your network, and engage with people who may help lead you you a job opportunity. Social media is more engaging and tends to be more real-time.
Be prepared to search using hashtags (ex: #cook #secondchancejobs #warehouse). That will help you find people that may be in a position to share details about a particular company/opportunity. And you’ll be surprised at how responding to a tweet or retweeting information will get you noticed.
This can be a great way to engage and build rapport. But keep in mind that if you’re interacting with potential employers over social media, they’re interacting with you too. That means they can see your past tweets, photos and comments. I’m not telling you how to live your life online, but personally, I always review the social media accounts of potential new employees and business partners. Just keep it in mind.
60% — Face-to-Face Networking
Finally, the biggest place to spend time is networking — 60% of your effort should be spent in this way. This includes going to job fairs, attending conferences, calling employers, seeking internships, and asking friends and relatives if they know anyone who is hiring.
Networking can seem scary at first, but you’re going to do fine! Just remember to smile, be friendly, and genuine.
When you get connected to a company through a referral, there is a level of trust that comes with that referral. Sometimes that means you’ll hear about roles that aren’t publicized or shared on the general market. Sometimes that means that the interview process will be quicker (because someone you know already vouched for you). It doesn’t mean you can cut corners — you should definitely still prepare for the interview process and make sure to impress in-person. But opportunities found through networking are often the most likely to land you a great new job.
The formula for a great job search changes from industry to industry, role to role, and person to person. But keeping the 60/20/20 rule in mind will help you get started, and ultimately land your next great job.
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